Monday, April 02, 2007

Doin' the Akron two-step

As Akron listeners know by now, Radio Free Ohio is history.

On Friday morning, the station made the switch back to sports, and put up its new website. So, goodbye Bill Press, hello Tony Bruno.

But this might not be the end of it.

Ohio Media Watch, which follows the state's radio scene like nobody else and initially broke the news about WARF, reports that liberal talk might not be gone for long in the Rubber City. Remember WJMP? For those of you who have followed all of this for the past few years, WJMP (1520AM), a 1000 watt daytimer in nearby Kent, was the first to carry the format in the market, picking up the Air America Radio feed a whole month before WARF made the switch. When WARF signed on its non-Air America progressive talk lineup and dropped FOX Sports, WJMP moved a month later to pick up the available sports programming, leaving WARF as the sole progressive talker in the market. Now, with liberal talk gone from local airwaves, and a serious glut of sports talk competition, they might possibly bring back progressive talk.


Now, these are just rumors, but for WJMP, which as a weak daytime-only station has had a hard time distinguishing itself in the market, it may not be a bad move. The east side station covers most of the Akron market all the way up to Cleveland, though obviously not as well as WARF does. Why the switch? Well, WARF did have some pretty dedicated advertisers, who I'm sure would make the move to any station willing to pick up the format. And with owner Media Com airing a mostly middle-of-the-road, mostly local talk format on highly-rated FM talk institution WNIR, this would not be a bad pairing of stations. And I'm sure disenfranchised liberal talk fans will be pleased at the quick return of the format to the Akron airwaves.

Of course this is all in rumor stage, and nobody knows what a potential WJMP liberal talk lineup would consist of, whether it be JRN offerings like Bill Press, Stephanie Miller or Ed Schultz, or a return to the Air America lineup. As always, we'll keep an eye on it, so stay tuned.

And there have also been rumblings about a progressive talk comeback in another Ohio market. Since this is all very early stage stuff, and nobody's even come close to putting ink to paper, that's about as much as you'll get right now. We shall see...


Unknown said...

I'm in Cleveland and was devastated when Akron went off the air. I only hope I can get ANY station that will give the Progressive arena its due.

So glad to hear this.

BTW, I sent emails to WARF and they were returned to me....this was before they turned out the lights.

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